Policy Fiascos & Government Failure B

Institute of Local Government Studies, School of Government and Society

College of Social Sciences


Code 16871

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 10

Semester 2

Module description

This module develops an understanding of why public policies fail. The first part of the module examines competing definitions of policy failure and policy fiascos, exploring different explanations for the failure of public policies, be it for example poor formulation, implementation deficits or systemic constraints. The second part evaluates the different explanations of policy failure through their application to specific case studies of policy fiascos and policy failures. It then examines the policy instruments and regulatory tools available to government and the diverse strategies deployed to combat policy failure. It concludes with an analysis of the dynamics of policy learning and whether governments can indeed 'learn'.